I’m in the midst of reading poet and author Mary Oliver’s recently published book called Upstream. Oliver is known for her gorgeous poetry that exalts the beauty of the natural world. This equally gorgeous book uncovers the roots of her early love of the outdoors (and reading); two wonderful pursuits near and dear to my heart. The title of today’s blog post is in fact one of my favourite Mary Oliver quotes that has prompted me to rediscover the beauty that surrounds me here in BC: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
We seem to find ourselves in the midst of some exceptionally troubling times (although one could argue times can always be troubling but just in different ways). It is at times like these that I seek out writers who can point me in the direction of not only coping but thriving despite the concerns of the world around me. Oliver’s book is a wonderful gift that has reminded me to get outside and breathe in the wonder around me. It certainly is not hard here on the west coast! Last weekend and again this weekend I hopped in my car and headed north to the gloriously green Lynn Canyon and Lynn Headwaters trails in search of peace of mind. And wow, did I find it!
Both trails take you through some of the most stunningly green forest, dropping you in stages via carefully maintained stairs down into the canyon and the river below. Above you can witness one of my snaps that extols the wonderful “green-ness” of the verdant trees and water in Lynn Canyon. I found that I took great care to use almost all of my senses as I hiked, hoping to share with you here what I experienced first hand. Can you smell the colour green??? Yes, indeed you can! It smells ocean-fresh and earthy all at the same time. Your eyes are assaulted, in a good way, by every shade of green imaginable. The air tastes moist as it fills your grateful lungs. The moss is springy to the touch and the cedars feel ancient and alive. I’ve left hearing until the end. As a card-carrying introvert, I find myself constantly seeking quiet, and on both days I was gifted with the sound of nature: crows distant caws, water jumping happily over rocks, rain drops dripping quietly on leaves, and my own steady breathing. Wondrous right?
Don’t let these troubled times discourage you for long. Get outside and surround yourself with nature wherever you can find it. Tell me. What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life???